CA Finish, the old way

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Daniel

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I constantly see people either giving up on a CA finish or posting that they are working on it etc. I learned how to do a CA finish from the members of the Yahoo group years ago. one question, one answer and I went to the shop and did it. I have also never had BLO in my shop.
This is not meant to discourage experimenting to improve Ca finish, But in this case it seems development has resulted in a backward step. the process has gotten either more difficult or impossible for many.
So here is how I was originally told to do a CA finish.

Turn the blank to size and shape. Depending on the grain of the wood use 220 or 320 grit sandpaper, set the lathe to a slow speed and sand blanks in order to build up saw dust on the sandpaper. While holding the sandpaper under the blank, pour thin CA on the top of the blank. this will mix the CA with the saw dust making a slurry. You need to work fast and get this slurry to fill all voids etc in the grain, the CA will dry quickly. If you have problems with this Thicker CA cures more slowly. I like thin CA as the point here is not only to fill any voids and grain it is also getting some CA to absorb into the wood itself. At this point the blank is a real mess. DO not over do it with the build up of CA because it is hard to get sanded back off.

Set Lathe back to a high speed and using one grit lower sandpaper than you used for the slurry. If you did the slurry with 220 this means you will start sanding with 150, if you used 320 for the slurry you will start sanding with 220. now sand all the visible slurry and CA off the blank. once the blanks is all smooth and all Ca has been removed you need to stop the lathe and sand lengthwise to the blank to remove all sanding marks that run radially around the blank. what you just did was "seal" the blank as well as fill any small imperfections in the wood.

Now you need to build a foundation for your finish. continue to sand the blanks with your progression of grits stopping the lathe to sand length wise between each grit. I use 220, 320 and 400 grit sandpaper at that point I switch to micro mesh. I will sand lengthwise to the blank all the way up to the 3rd sheet of MM. after that I skip the lengthwise sanding. I do sand the blank all the way up to 12000 MM. for those of you that are concerned that the blank will be to smooth for the finish to adhere to, remember CA has already been applied to the wood and is very well adhered. that CA is still there.

Once the blank is sanding I inspect it very carefully for any marks etc. this is the last time you will come into contact with the actual wood so do not leave flaws. the wood itself should look fairly well polished at this time

The CA finish
set the lathe to slow speed again and with a plastic bag that the parts come in apply a coat of CA, I like thick, to the blank. I actually use wax paper as an applicator for CA and find that I get it to go on the smoothest. let dry and repeat. you can apply as many coats as you want, I usually do two to three depending on how smoothly it is going on. Keep in mind it does not go on smooth, but the fewest ripples the better.

Turn the Lathe to high speed and start with 320 grit sandpaper. if the Ca is extra rough you can start with 220. This is the hardest part of this method and the danger is sanding through the CA. sand the blank just until you see scratches evenly across the blank. Just as you did before sand lengthwise with the blanks between each grit. Progress through the grits again as before. In my case this is to 12000 MM. only polishing to a lower grit, buffing or any other preferred method to "Polish" the pen should not be a problem. In the event you do sand through the CA you must sand the entire thing down removing all the coats of CA. CA cannot be patched.

Although CA is an extremely durable finish all on it's own I like to add a final coat of Hut crystal coat. Just keep in mind that at this point you are polishing plastic not wood and apply the final touches of your preference accordingly.

That is it, take it leave it whatever. I just know I did not hear nearly as many problems with doing a CA finish until I started hearing about BLO.
 
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"The CA finish
set the lathe to slow speed again and with a plastic bag that the parts come in apply a coat of CA, I like thick, to the blank. I actually use wax paper as an applicator for CA and find that I get it to go on the smoothest. let dry and repeat.";

OK, Which one do you suggest to use to put on the CA, the plastic bag or wax paper? I've tried the plastic bag way and ended up with a big mess and I had to turn the pieces back down to fresh raw wood and start all over. Also the "let dry and repeat", how long do you have to wait to let it dry and how can you tell when its dry without touching it with something? When I tried this method I got my finger stuck to the supper glue.;-Þ It looked dry but it wasn't. :-(
How do you get the grain of the wood to as they say "pop out"? If you fill everything with a sanding dust and CA glue slurry what does that do to the look of the grain of the wood? But then on the other side of things by sanding it down to a 220 or 320 finish then coating it with CA that wouldn't let much of the woods grain and character to show through any who.
I have tried your method a couple of times without very good results. It seems to me to be a waist of a lot of sanding material and a waist of a lot of CA glue and most of all a waist of a lot of time.
As for sanding the finish, I don't start sanding with anything lower than 400 grit and that's usually just for a light touch-up on something then its on to the Micro Mesh 1500 to 12000.
Don't get me wrong now, I'm not intending to cut you down or dis ya or anything like that. It's just that I've tried to do it the way that you say to do it and all I end up with is a big ass mess. ;-)
For me for the woods that have a lot of voids in it like Zebra wood or Red Nara. I use some BLO and rub it in at a fairly high speed then its coat after coat of Crystal Coat and Mylands Friction Polish. Then a few coats of the CA with BLO topped with some friction polish. Works great. A lot less sanding and a lot quicker and easier.
 

Nick

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Daniel,
Thanks for the lesson, sounds simple enough and I will give it a try.
In applying the CA, do you have any problems removing the bushings when you are finished? Any tips on that?
 

marcruby

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I would actually consider your method overly complicated. I just soak the plank in CA and sand it forming the slurry. This happens at the 220 or 320 point, depending on the porousness of the wood.

Then I just build thin coats and sand until I like the thickness and then I sand and polish it out. I just use fingers cut off of latex gloves as an applicator - this keeps the coats from getting too uneven. This requires a bit of patience, but thin CA sets up quicker than the thick stuff so I probably break even on time.

I wouldn't recommend this to anyone as gospel but it works quite well for me. I always feel like I'm cheating when I read someone else's description of what they do.

Marc
 

Daniel

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"OK, Which one do you suggest to use to put on the CA, the plastic bag or wax paper?"

Wax paper. since the CA will dry so quickly you have to work quick with this as well and not let it get tacky while the applicator is still in contact. basically it is a quick swipe across the blank.

Also the "let dry and repeat", how long do you have to wait to let it dry and how can you tell when its dry without touching it with something?

Drying time various with a lot of factors, and in some cases drastically. I have reasons to think that drying time is effected by number of coats, Humidity and temperature at least. quite possibly even more. Generally CA takes no more than a couple of minutes to cure. I have had it take 10 minutes or more. testing by touching is okay even if it leaves a mark I usually test by just barely touching the edge of the blank right at the bushing. Also since this method also coats the bushing I touch it first and with a lot more pressure. the bushign being dry does not necessarily mean the blank is.

How do you get the grain of the wood to as they say "pop out"? If you fill everything with a sanding dust and CA glue slurry what does that do to the look of the grain of the wood?

The polish makes the grain pop, it also draws out any catoyance in the wood. keep in mind you are applying the actual final CA finish over a well polished blank, this creates a polished surface over a polished surface. there are sources on the net on what this does ot the refraction of light etc. But the basic idea is you cannot dull the polish of the wood that is under the polish of the CA. When the CA slurry has been sanded down there is no visible change in the wood.

But then on the other side of things by sanding it down to a 220 or 320 finish then coating it with CA that wouldn't let much of the woods grain and character to show through any who.

You do not apply the CA finish after sanding to 220 or 320 grit. You apply the finihs after polishing to 12000 MM. You can sand polish, buff or bring the blank to whatever degree of polish you desire in any manner you prefer. the Idea is to polish the wood before you apply the finish.

As for sanding the finish, I don't start sanding with anything lower than 400 grit and that's usually just for a light touch-up on something then its on to the Micro Mesh 1500 to 12000.

I would not recommend this method for you. trying to remove the CA slurry with 400 grit sandpaper would be extremely difficult at best. likely impossible. CA is tough stuff. and will melt if heated to much.
 

GBusardo

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Hi Daniel, Before I looked to see where you live, I said to myself, I bet he lives in a dry climate. I could be wrong, but I would imagine Reno is pretty dry. About half the time I apply a CA finish, I get cloudy white patches. I have tried everything and I am pretty much convinced I have this problem because my basement shop humidity is usually about 60%. Most of the time I use Enduro and have to wait it out.
 

Daniel

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Marc, your gloved fingers idea is a good one and will add to my method, you will get CA on your fingers with the wax paper.
I used to go straight from the slurry to the finish also. I had the polishing the wood itself added after the fact. Polishing it out to 12000MM is probably overkill since people finish furniture that was sanded to only 220 all the time. But I personally like the effect of polishing the wood before it is "Coated". The overall finish takes more time than turning the pen by far. The main thing for me is that I don't hear about people failing at this finish method nearly as much when it was the standard being explained.

By the way the polishing step was developed by Patricia Lawson of the Yahoo group as well as the Guild when she was considered the "Queen of the Finish". Her premise was that you cannot get a top notch finish without a top notch foundation.
 

Daniel

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Gary, I really do not know what to say about clouds. Yes it is a very dry climate here but this is not my formula. It was at one time the only way explained to even do a CA finish. As far as I know this method has been used successfully across the country.

Here is what i know or suspect about clouding.
First I know that clouding can be caused by to much heat as the CA cures. overheating can be cause by at least three things.
1. to thin of a CA, thin Ca cures faster than thicker. the faster CA cures the more chance of it overheating.
2. to thick of coats, to many coats, As Ca coats build up they can begin to act as one single very thick coat.
3. using accelerator.

it is also suspected that humidity and temperature can contribute to clouding. As well as oils or moisture in the wood. I personally have far less problems with clouding if I am actively trying to limit heat while curing. I have still had times that my finish has clouded and i do no think it was due to heat and these are the ones that are still a mystery.
 

leehljp

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Then I just build thin coats and sand until I like the thickness and then I sand and polish it out. I just use fingers cut off of latex gloves as an applicator - this keeps the coats from getting too uneven. This requires a bit of patience, but thin CA sets up quicker than the thick stuff so I probably break even on time.

I wouldn't recommend this to anyone as gospel but it works quite well for me. I always feel like I'm cheating when I read someone else's description of what they do.
Marc
"Cheating" - LOL. :biggrin:

Marc, I too use to try and keep explanations simple, and the process 'is' simple to me. Takes me longer to explain here than actually do a good finish. The problem with what you wrote and what Daniel wrote is that (a wild guess) that probably about 50% of the people can figure out the 'relatives' such as how much is a few coats, how much pressure in applying the CA, how much pressure in sanding. And about 50% don't know.

I think each of you, many people here including me - in a controlled experiment can apply 3 or 4 coats of "thin" CA and make a shine from end to end. We know subconsciously how much pressure to apply in each case and do it naturally.

THE SUBJECTIVES:
What I have observed is that many of the new people do not realize the skill that you and I take for granted. Two examples come to mind: 1. When one fellow, a couple of months, ago asked the question: "how do you sand" and 2. many others say: "I applied 3 to 4 coats of thin CA as recommended and it doesn't shine."

Basic skills of a totally subjective nature are left out in most examples. Numerous times in the past 6 months have I seen questions that related to why someone can't get a good CA shine after watching Russ's video or following some method to the "T".

The PROBLEMs IMO are the variables in each individual's subjective rationalizing/reasoning process - such as how much pressure is applied in wiping on the CA, or sanding, how much (actual) CA is applied without measuring each microgram, how much sanding time is enough or too much. What is slow speed on the lathe? 1200 RPM or 400 RPM, big difference.

Neither of you are mentioning this and the usual assumption is that they will know these instinctive (to us) things. Then when someone asks why something is not working, we generally go into a more detailed explanation of what we did without explaining the subjective's, or telling them to "experiment", which some do not want to do.

The REAL problem with CA finish is the skill levels needed that only comes with "Experience". Visual and feeling experience are needed to be able to judge what is enough in amount, time, and feel. Without that last sentence, everything, whether long or short explanation or visual video - are still in a huge ambiguous subjective area to the in the readers mind and the truth is still "out there" hidden in a corner. :biggrin:
 
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cozee

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Never could understand why one would want the slurry. Turn and sand blank to desired smoothness. Wipe down with alcohol. 3 good coats of thick CA (accelerator between coats and applied with a piece of 3 x 5 card)) and sand with MM all the way out to 12000. Buff and polish. If by chance the CA is a bit rough prior to sanding, I will smooth it out with a square nosed scraper.

No slurry, no fuss, and as simple as can be.

 
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Daniel

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Hank, somewhere in your mixture of points lies distinction between Knowledge, Experience and Skill. Just where those lines are is a matter of opinion but Experience and Skill only come by practice. Someone that cannot determine that a coat of CA is thick or thin enough needs information beyond what I am able to provide. I am not saying that those people do not exist or that they should not be involved in penturning. I am saying my ability to explain has a limit. From there I depend on showing. and still I cannot show someone to the point they will gain skill.
 

leehljp

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In defense of Marc's slurry (IMO) I do that on some blanks that are very porous. Some pens have beautiful grain or color but no chatoyance. These with open grain get filled with its own sawdust. With several soakings of CA, even paddock grain, oak and some walnut have open grain pores. Slurry fills it fine. Even in some chatoyance woods, filling the pores with the slurry does a good job for a base on which fine finishing can be achieved.
 

leehljp

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Hank, somewhere in your mixture of points lies distinction between Knowledge, Experience and Skill. Just where those lines are is a matter of opinion but Experience and Skill only come by practice. Someone that cannot determine that a coat of CA is thick or thin enough needs information beyond what I am able to provide. I am not saying that those people do not exist or that they should not be involved in penturning. I am saying my ability to explain has a limit. From there I depend on showing. and still I cannot show someone to the point they will gain skill.
I agree and I was not clear on my point. I apologize. I was wanting to say what you basically said.

A couple of weeks ago, a fellow posted politely that he wanted a "list' of steps on how to make a good finish, and that he did not want a "go experiment" answer. Another fellow said he applied the normal 3 or 4 coats of thin but no shine. When I told him to "build up" enough coatings until he could see the shine after sanding. He replied back later: Thanks, it worked.

The before and after difference? 3 or 4 coats of thin is subjective to user experience. "Enough that shine is there AFTER sanding" allows for HIS skill level and experience.

The point is that our explanations, while all different, are understood by the newbie in a different way than we intended. The proliferation of CA methods IMO, is due to the different ways different people perceive supposedly "objective" terminology. :wink:

In the end, it has to come down to what you wrote: [the] "ability to explain has a limit". . and . .
"Just where those lines are is a matter of opinion but Experience and Skill only come by practice."
. . . Well said!
(My Japanese/US mixed mindset isn't that clear. Apologies.)

By The Way - THis thread is going into my Links. You guys have brought up a topic that shows just how varied this can be. People new to CA need to understand this. Might scare them away though. :wink:
 
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cozee

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The PROBLEMs IMO are the variables in each individual's subjective rationalizing/reasoning process - such as how much pressure is applied in wiping on the CA, or sanding, how much (actual) CA is applied without measuring each microgram, how much sanding time is enough or too much. What is slow speed on the lathe? 1200 RPM or 400 RPM, big difference.
Personal observation and operation of the one doing the work can never really be replaced with a set method. Hopefully most know this and simply learn to apply a certain method to their way of operating. My frist try at a CA finish included BLO and a paper towel. Sure made me want to cuss. So knowing that CA is somewhat urethane based, I treated it like the urethane based automotive paints I am accustomed too, from simple application to buff and polish, and had great success.

Pressure applying CA? None really as the CA should be floated on. This helps to maintain equal build up on the blank and helps to prevent rough final coats.

How much CA? Enough to give a wet coat without slinging it off. Yes, this will have variables but that is going to have to remain a gimme.

Pressure sanding? Like CA, none. Float the paper and give it support, not pressure. Sand paper is designed to cut due to it's aggressive nature, not the pressure it is applied with. Pressure can cause uneven surfaces, premature wear of the paper, serious sanding lines, and other problems.

Sanding time? Enough so that the grit (or micron) being used removes any sanding scratches left by the previous grit. No set method or reason, just the observation of the one sanding. Sometimes it will just take a bit longer with each grit than it does at others.

Slow speed on the lathe? This would be the slowest setting you have. Granted, some lathes crawl along at 500 rpm while slow to others is 750 rpm and that 250 rpm can make a difference on whether the CA is laid out like it should or slings of the blank like a leaky water hose.


And I gotta agree with Lee, no matter what the topic, there is no substitute for experience!!!:biggrin:
 
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marcruby

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"Cheating" - LOL. :biggrin: Marc, I too use to try and keep explanations simple, and the process 'is' simple to me.
The only 'secret' is that when I sand I drop the speed to half my turning speed and work with light pressure. This comes from a seminar where it was ably demonstrated to me that high speed heavy sanding clogs sandpaper (or MM) and turns it into scratch paper (since only the highest grains do the work).

Now when I'm applying CA I start at a dead stop and turn up the variable speed until the piece begins to turn and drip the CA on the blank while wiping (actually guiding the CA) with my finger. As soon as I get an even coat I stop applying and just let it turn for a bit. I'll do this twice maybe and then sand as before. I know people will argue, but I think variable speed greatly eases the CA operation.

At some indefinable moment I'll feel the CA coats are thick enough and I'll run the grits to 12K and polish it out. Judging from the thickness on the bushing this coat is about 1/32 thick, maybe even just 1/64.

OK, this is more complicated but most turners would do the same thing I do given my initial instructions. I know this sounds snobbish, but a novice pen turner shouldn't be using CA. Poly or lacquer or friction are better starting points until you have a good feel for depth of finish. My personal opinion is that it is actually possible to over polish with CA, which is when it's so perfectly glossy that it stops looking like wood. And let's face it, CA is just a wee bit dangerous.

Marc
 
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One of the things that has not been discussed is-What appearance is each of us aiming for.

I use harvested local woods. I would like to end up with a protective finish with some gloss.
I have considered trying to come up with a matte finish with the protective feature.
I have no desire to end up with an extremely glossy look or with a thick plastic like finish.

I have never sold any pens so I am not influenced by customer demands.

That said, I keep reading that 3 coats of thin CA will not work. I suspect that this is true if you sand through the coats. I imagine that 10 coats of thick CA won't work if you sand through them.

I use 3 coats of thin CA or 2 coats of medium CA. With some woods I have used CA with a sawdust slurry.

Years ago I used the CA applied with the plastic bags. This worked, but is less consistent than BLO/CA in my hands.

I have wondered if I am getting enough CA on with the present method, but from what I can tell, I get a uniform finish.

After sitting overnight I polish with EEE and then use Ren wax.

Those of you that use many layers of CA-Are you getting a thick plastic appearance?

Larry
 

Daniel

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I will switch from my wood lathe to my metal lathe to do the CA finish simply for the convenience of EVS in the process. It is a huge benefit.
 

Daniel

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Concerning gloss, Micro surfaces does have some recommendations on how to achieve less than high gloss finishes with MM. i will not vouch for or against them but will say MM is made to put a glass finish on plastic. I would suspect trying to get any other results will be a compromise at best.
There is no way to avoid the Plastic like finish with CA. basically you are coating your blanks with plastic and polishing it.

I think you would be better off looking at other finishing methods entirely such as Enduro or others.

as for coats I commonly use only 2, and you are correct that not sanding through is the key. extra coats will add depth to the finish and just how thick it should be is a matter of taste. I do not want to see a thickness in my CA, I do want a high gloss to my pens.

One of the things that has not been discussed is-What appearance is each of us aiming for.

I use harvested local woods. I would like to end up with a protective finish with some gloss.
I have considered trying to come up with a matte finish with the protective feature.
I have no desire to end up with an extremely glossy look or with a thick plastic like finish.

I have never sold any pens so I am not influenced by customer demands.

That said, I keep reading that 3 coats of thin CA will not work. I suspect that this is true if you sand through the coats. I imagine that 10 coats of thick CA won't work if you sand through them.

I use 3 coats of thin CA or 2 coats of medium CA. With some woods I have used CA with a sawdust slurry.

Years ago I used the CA applied with the plastic bags. This worked, but is less consistent than BLO/CA in my hands.

I have wondered if I am getting enough CA on with the present method, but from what I can tell, I get a uniform finish.

After sitting overnight I polish with EEE and then use Ren wax.

Those of you that use many layers of CA-Are you getting a thick plastic appearance?

Larry
 

NewLondon88

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Those of you that use many layers of CA-Are you getting a thick plastic appearance?
It depends on whether or not that is what you're going for.
Sometimes you want that, sometimes you don't.
That wasn't a wiseass answer, I'm serious. There are some blanks
that are enhanced by a high gloss coating. (contrasting heart/sapwood
colors with high chatoyance comes to mind) But it doesn't have to look
like a 'thick plastic appearance' per se .. even though CA is an acrylic.
 

cozee

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I like a depth to a gloss as it brings out the grain more than anything. For a more natural look with protection and decent finish life, I use Enduro. For a natural feel with protection, I use of mix of equal parts of BLO, DNA, and clear shellac.

I have been experimenting with wipe on poly and am having good results in getting a nice gloss without the plastic feel CA gives.
 

wdcav1952

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Great discussion going on here! We had a saying in dental school "This works best in my hands." The basic procedures are the same, but individual tweaks of the steps lead each of us to our best results.

After avoiding CA finishes for three or more years, I have come back to using CA. I'm glad Monty is out there with his glue page to keep me supplied with good CA.

Since many of you are sharing your methods, here is mine:

Finish the bare wood to 12,000 mm.
Burnish in BLO if desired to "pop" the grain.
Polish in the BLO with lintless cloth and then wood shavings. Let blank cool completely. The BLO must be completely dry before continuing to avoid spots in the finish.
Using plastic batting (the flat packing material that looks like foam) to apply three coats of thin CA. (I don't use slurry as I like the darker look of CA filled imperfections since I feel it gives more depth.)
Polish to 12,000 mm.
Use batting apply a coat of medium CA at low speed as smooth as possible.
With lathe still turning, spray the blank (8 inches or more distance) with non-aerosol accelerator. (I use 3 or 4 light puffs of spray)
Immediately apply a second coat of medium CA and spray with accelerator.
Immediately apply a third coat of medium CA and spray with accelerator.
(Someone mentioned not cleaning the blank after spraying with accelerator as it will help the next coat to cure quickly. Whoever that person was, Thank You!)
Finish to 12000 mm.
Polish on lathe with Novus plastic polish
Finish with TSW or Ren Wax.

Personally, I don't choose to get into the plastic-looking debate. Overall, shiny sells. Customers seem to want a pen that is shiny and stays shiny.

FWIW,
 

marcruby

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How do you get the grain of the wood to as they say "pop out"? If you fill everything with a sanding dust and CA glue slurry what does that do to the look of the grain of the wood?
Sorry, I just noticed you asked this question. I use a filler slurry method because that's what I do on bowls. With 320 grit sandpaper the slurry forms, fills porous grain, and is wiped away in about 10 seconds. There really isn't any slurry left to sand off. Nor is it visible in the filled imperfections. It looks just like the rest of the wood, mostly because it's made up of the same wood.

A classic way to have finish problems with flatwork is to oversand the surface before finishing. This reduces the adherence of the finish coats. I assume there's a similar risk with pens that might explain why sometimes the finish never quite seems to set up. I don't know how much finishing you do outside of pens, but my experience is that once you get to about 220 the grain and color will pop as soon as you put on a coat of finish.

As long as subsequent coats are clear of inclusions and discoloring you are just building the same coat. All you need to do is keep the surface smooth until you decide it's time to polish it out. It is body and surface gloss that create the illusion of depth - you can't really see into the wood.

Anyway, here's a pen made from some of rarestwoods rarer woods. Unretouched, single point flash, no polarization. As you will notice you can see right down to the chatoyance in the lower barrel even under what are terrible lighting conditions. Nothing incredible, and a lousy photograph, but it demonstrates that my method does work. All methods work, since we are really doing exactly the same thing despite the complications each of us performs. I'm a minimalist. To me each added step variation is a chance to make an expensive mistake.
 

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BobBurt

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I use something similar, however, I "wet" sand the CA when I get enough coats on....Is there any need of that??? or do I go straight to the Buffing after I get it dry sanded????

My system works, but dry sanding sounds like it could be easier

Thanks

This is a "GREAT" tread
 

sah6139

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CA

Have been using CA/BLO for about 2 years and am happy
with the way it turns out.
After reading this thread I tried it a little different.
Put on about 3 coats of thin CA and 2 good coats of mid thickness CA
no BLO let it dry then finished it like I would any acrylic blank and
that is sand to 1200MM. And really like the way it turned out.
If I understand with a good layer of CA over the wood
you have a acrylic/plastic coated blank.
This may not sound right but with the meds I'm on it sounds real good.

steve
 

leehljp

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I use something similar, however, I "wet" sand the CA when I get enough coats on....Is there any need of that??? or do I go straight to the Buffing after I get it dry sanded????
My system works, but dry sanding sounds like it could be easier
Thanks
This is a "GREAT" tread
I wet sand much of the time but not always. The determination of which way to go (for me) is just my "feeling" at the moment in conjunction with how the finish looks under a magnifying glass.


First you make a pen and like it.
Then you make several.
Next you discover a few minor shortcomings and buy more tools.
After that, you try several new finishes and swear.
From there - try different pen kits.
And then you want to up the skill level and buy calipers.
next, magnifying glass, CNC or custom bushings, new lathe.
And the spiraling vortex has you! :biggrin:
 

Daniel

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He He no kidding Hank, Now honestly everyone. how many of you have figured out how to actually hold two magnifying glasses just right to get a real close up of the close up?
 

Daniel

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Oh sorry Steve, you did have a question in there didn't you? as for wet sanding. The single best reason I have heard for wet sending is to reduce heat, and although I do not use it in my description (or in practice) i completely agree with it. of course not for wood. as for wet sanding being smoother? I do not think this can happen. sandpaper is just as course wet as it is dry and it is the coursness that determines what scratches it will leave. there is some possibility that the slurry might help reduce the scratch pattern.
 

NewLondon88

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He He no kidding Hank, Now honestly everyone. how many of you have figured out how to actually hold two magnifying glasses just right to get a real close up of the close up?
I have to use a lighted magnifier and then wear reading glasses to magnify it.
I tell ya .. being over 23 is a killer .. :tongue:
 

NewLondon88

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as for wet sanding being smoother? I do not think this can happen. sandpaper is just as course wet as it is dry and it is the coursness that determines what scratches it will leave. there is some possibility that the slurry might help reduce the scratch pattern.
I don't know that wet sanding would be smoother .. but as you say the
slurry might help .. not only the scratch pattern, but the grit is still at the
work surface, whether it is grit that came off of the wood, plastic or even
the sanding material itself. Even loose grit still scratches, so perhaps it
can speed up the process? Dunno.
I wet sand because it heats up less, and hot blanks can expand and cause
unexpected things to happen.

When turning wood very fast, you do not want unexpected things to happen
 

penturner63

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WOW!!
Thats alot of reading. You guys really know this stuff. One more question though. Is this CA put on the same mandral the blank was turned on ? How do ya keep the bushings from sticking forever to the blank?
 

Daniel

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That question was asked once before and got lost in the flurry I think. coat the bushing with wax like ren wax of Trade secret for wood. CA will not stick to them. there usually is a coating of wax that goes from the blank to the bushing. Some people actually use their parting tool to get a nice clean cut through this CA and avoid chiping the finish as the bushing breaks free. i simply grab the bushing in a pair of pliers and give it a slight sidways twist. you will here the CA actually crack free. i do have a chip out once in a while but only when the finish is really thick. Since I do not like a thick CA finish it is rarely a problem for me. I have actually glued bushing into the blanks and glued them to the mandrel in the past.
 

leehljp

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That question was asked once before and got lost in the flurry I think. coat the bushing with wax like ren wax of Trade secret for wood. CA will not stick to them. there usually is a coating of wax that goes from the blank to the bushing. Some people actually use their parting tool to get a nice clean cut through this CA and avoid chiping the finish as the bushing breaks free. i simply grab the bushing in a pair of pliers and give it a slight sidways twist. you will here the CA actually crack free. i do have a chip out once in a while but only when the finish is really thick. Since I do not like a thick CA finish it is rarely a problem for me. I have actually glued bushing into the blanks and glued them to the mandrel in the past.
This is a good method but there are also drawbacks as Daniel noted.

Having worked many years ago helping an automotive body repair friend, I became aware of how miniscule amounts of silicone wax applied to an automobile - required a different finishing technique when body repair was needed. Silicone wax affected the paint/finish. Silicone hides and then migrates!

In Flat work, apply a silicone wax shine to the top of the table saw or silicone lube to the blade area, and it can and will migrate to the wood, preventing a great finish.

With that understood, waxes migrate too. IF you put wax on the bushings and then squeeze the bushings up reasonably tight with the mandrel nut, there will be miniscule amounts that will can can work up. ANY rubbing will transfer it to the top of the bushing and to the blank. Assuming that you turn off any wax that is on the blank as it it turned down, one should be wax free. BUT when sanding starts, and sand paper or rubbing that extends over the bushings will drag wax to the top of the turned blank. It should not affect CA under normal circumstances but I believe it can affect the adhesion in some cases. IMO, that is often what causes CA lift on the ends of oily woods, or others.

This migration happens enough in flat work that finish problems are noticed and adjustments have to be made. It is reasonable to figure this to be the culprit with some bushings/blank problems also. I used to turn and "cut" the CA at the bushing line with an X-acto type of knife. On oily woods, I still had lift on occasion. As Daniel said, it usually happens when thicker layers (more than the minimum amount) of CA are applied.

IMO, CA lift is usually a combination of oily woods, waxed bushings, and a thick CA finish.
 
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Daniel

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Hank, you may be the first person that has brought the wax issue and wood to the penturning community. I mentioned the care that flat workers take to avoid it many years ago on the Yahoo group but have since see it never come up as an issue. You are correct though. wax will effect nearly any finish and could very well be part of the problem in clouding or inconsistences in even a CA finish. this alone is a topic that could use a thread of it's own. Good call old boy.
 
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I avoid the problem of CA sticking to bushings by replacing the bushings with segments of the brass tubing. I flare the ends of the tubings slightly. These are put on before sanding.
I also use a thin layer of vaseline on the ends of the blank.
There has been no problem with the finish that I have seen.

Larry
 

leehljp

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Hank, you may be the first person that has brought the wax issue and wood to the penturning community. I mentioned the care that flat workers take to avoid it many years ago on the Yahoo group but have since see it never come up as an issue. You are correct though. wax will effect nearly any finish and could very well be part of the problem in clouding or inconsistences in even a CA finish. this alone is a topic that could use a thread of it's own. Good call old boy.
On the woodworking forum I am on (a specialty one) "silicone migrating" used to come up quite a bit. It is commonly recommended to not use any lubes with silicone in them because they "migrate".

If anyone has ever seen a refinished table that had been shined with "Pledge" before refinishing, they would know the problems of silicone. But that is another problem. The main point is that lubes/waxes migrate.

Now to combine waxing bushings with your point - if used on thin applications and just enough to give a good finish, the lift doesn't seem to be a problem. I do use thicker coatings and this is where I have had problems.
 

Rudy Vey

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I do not under stand what the bushing issue is. Having finished many hundred pens with CA, I never had any problem to remove the bushings. If the are sticking to the blank, just break them off. Also, I had never CA breaking away when do so. I totally agree with the wax will interfere with the finish.
 
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